Senior citizen gets vaccinated…without leaving her car

‘All I had to do was stretch my arm.’

By Ludy Astraquillo Ongkeko, Ph.D.

Since the news about the pandemic’s beginnings in March 2020, most everyone had hoped the talked-about vaccines would be realized. Science responded positively. 

What was made emphatic was how there would be “priority” given to members of the seniors community.  The news was indeed hailed.  My son requested an appointment for me via a communication line available to the Los Angeles community. Forms werefilled out.On January 23rd, I had an appointment for my first vaccination.

Fortunately, for this writer who is truly a senior, an appointment was easily made. I was not nervous at all.  Neither was I apprehensive.

With my son behind the wheel, we drove to the Inglewood Forum in Southern California, a large sports arena that used to be the home of the Los Angeles Lakers. I witnessed what it meant to wait in line without leaving the car.  One medical professional came up to my side of the vehicle to get the approved paperwork. All I had to do was to stretch my right arm. It was over in a few minutes, and we were instructed to move on.

That first shot felt like any usual shot one receives prior to the flu season. There was hardly any discomfort.

Three weeks after that first shot, it was time to receive the second one on February 13th.  I didn’t have to request an appointment. The latter was given to me at the request of my primary care physician in a clinic setting.  Again, it seemed just like the first shot.  However, after the second day, I felt a strong sensation on my left arm. There was a distinct pain.  Overnight, I just had brief snatches of sleep.  Of course, before I was released from the aforesaid clinic, the nurse informed me how I should inform my physician should the shot cause any extraordinary concern.

I took note of how the second vaccine affected me.  The vaccinated arm lost its strength.  There was a distinct swelling on the third day accompanied by a rise in temperature. I applied hot and cold compresses to ease the pain.  Yes, the shot thwarted my movements. The feeling that I would recover, as I always did from previous shots, consoled me.

Too, although my children and grandchildren communicated with me as soon as they had heard of my having gone through the follow-up shot, it did come as a relief when I assured them I would be able to return to my old self.

It has been close to seven days since.  No adverse effects have been noted. I didn’t have to report to my primary care physician.

I knew how a senior like yours truly can always take instructions about medical procedures, armed with the confidence that in time, all would be well. As one of my grandsons indicated, “You can now travel without all the pre-vaccination concerns.”

Yes, having the two vaccinations has provided me with strength, comfort and confidence that I can rely on science in times like the advent of COVID-19.

NaFFAA continues to update its list of newly elected, re-elected Filipino American officials in 2020. Email for information.

© The FilAm 2021

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: